What Are You Watching?: “Gilmore Girls”

Gilmore Girls (2000 – 2007, The CW)

Gilmore Girls
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Take a charming town in Connecticut, add Melissa McCarthy before she was typecast by her role as Megan in Bridesmaids, and throw in a quick-talking, pop-culture addicted, snarky, sassy mother-daughter duo–there you have Gilmore Girls. This show about love, acceptance, and family graced TV screens for seven complete seasons with its quick-wit and charm.

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Bunheads), the show followed the story of Lorelai (Lauren Graham, Parenthood) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) – a young mother and daughter who were more best friends or a team than part of a typical family hierarchy. This relationship that I often envied is only made more believable by the immense chemistry that Graham and Bledel have together.

Lorelai is a young mother who got pregnant at sixteen and left home to raise her daughter on her own. She began working at the Independence Inn, a small inn in the fictional Stars Hollow, and eventually became manager. Her daughter Rory was named after herself, which Rory explains: “She named me after herself. She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, you know, so why couldn’t women? She says her feminism just kind of took over. Though personally I think a lot of Demerol also went into that decision.” (Season 1, Episode 1, Pilot).

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What Are You Watching?: “Ringer”

Ringer (2011, The CW)

Ringer
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Binge-watching TV shows has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me because I hate cliffhangers. I am a true millennial in the sense that I’m incredibly impatient and need everything provided to me instantly – especially answers to plot points in television series. That said, I finally rewatched a show I had watched when it was on air a few years back, Ringer, and I was so glad I didn’t have to wait through commercials or days until the next episode aired.

Ringer is a concluded TV drama that lasted only one season, which I attribute to it being aired on a younger-viewer network. At the time of Ringer’s premiere, the CW was already talking about ending its front-running series Gossip Girl and was looking for a replacement. However, Ringer’s complex plot about murder and deception was not the right fit to replace Gossip Girl’s quick-witted sass and the Upper East Side drama of love affairs. Had Ringer been picked up by a more mature-audience based network, like ABC, it definitely would’ve hit its target audience and lasted much longer.

This show, though short lived, was thankfully aired in a full order of 22 episodes and also marked the return of the incomparable Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to television.

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What Are You Watching?: “Young & Hungry“

Young & Hungry
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Young & Hungry (2014-2015 ABC Family)

Lately, I’ve been in a very nostalgic and reflective mood. I’m constantly remembering old Disney Channel shows like Even Stevens or Disney Channel Original Movies like Phantom of the Megaplex or Zenon and I’m left wondering where the time has gone. The end of my Disney Channel days, because I sadly chose to “grow up,” occurred at the beginning of Hannah Montana – the story about an undercover pop star who lives a normal life in secret.

With the Hannah Montana gang in mind, I turned to the new comedy on ABC Family, Young & Hungry. This new series features Hannah Montana starlet, Emily Osment. With quick-paced stories and expectedly unexpected situations, I found the show to have the same heart of shows I had grown up with, but with a much more adult sense of humor. I had come for the nostalgia and ultimately stayed for the story.

The series’ executive producer is Ashley Tisdale of Disney’s High School Musical and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Following in suit with nostalgic stars, the show includes Jesse McCartney, Emily Osment, and many others.

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What Are You Watching?: “Younger” (TV Land 2015)

Younger
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Age is just a number in the new TV Land series, Younger. The show, which is created by Darren Star (Sex & the City), revolves around Liza (Sutton Foster – Bunheads & Thoroughly Modern Millie), who is a 40-year-old recent divorcee and mother. She once worked at Random House Publishing for three years where she became editor and then left her job to raise her daughter.

Now, fourteen years later, her daughter goes on a mission trip to Mumbai and Liza is left alone and needs a job to support her and her daughter. But the publishing world has changed during her hiatus and she’s finding she can’t even get into the glass room to hit the glass ceiling because of her age.

To soothe her bruised ego, she and her best lesbian friend, Maggie (Debi Mazar – Entourage), go out to drink the pain away. While they’re out, Liz is hit on by a 26-year-old, Josh (Nico Tortorella – The Following), who believes her to be that same age. Empowered by this ego boost and with the understanding of “people believe what you tell them,” Liz goes to another interview pretending to be 26 and eventually gets the job.

From there, Liz has to keep up with the fast-paced environment of publishing, the advances made in marketing with technology, and the unfiltered office chatter with her new friend, Kelsey, played by Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire).

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Meet the Editors: Michael Cotter

Michael Cotter
Michael Cotter

Happy Friday, readers! Please join us in welcoming our new editors for the Spring 2015 semester. Today, our new featured editor is Assistant Poetry Editor Michael Cotter, who is responsible for the What Are You Watching? blog series. Michael is a senior at Lewis University working toward his BA in English, with a film studies minor. In rare moments of free time, Michael can be found watching TV. In cases of no free time, Michael will stay up all night to catch up on the 105 shows he is currently watching. Here’s our Q & A with Michael.

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

I’m Michael Cotter, and I’m the Assistant Poetry Editor at Jet Fuel Review.

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?

Currently Gone Girl is sitting on my nightstand begging to be read and has been, unfortunately, sitting there for a while. However, I also have The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell sitting there too.

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What Are You Watching?: “Playing House”

“Playing House” (2014-2015, USA)

Playing House
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Is there anything better than having a best friend? Someone who understands your mild breaks in sanity or can always bring up a great, and often embarrassing, story from when you were younger is great to have around.

That’s basically the magic behind the new comedy on USA, “Playing House.” The show was created and written by real life best friends Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids”) and Lennon Parham (“Accidentally on Purpose”), who also star in the show. That gives the show a chemistry unlike any other.

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What Are You Watching?: The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years
http://bit.ly/19sH9GZ

With Valentine’s Day comes many things: the excessive amounts of reds and pinks flooding the aisles of Target, flowers skyrocketing in price and demand, and the impossible excursion that takes place trying to find movie tickets available for that day. This year’s big V-Day release was arguably “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which happened to “eclipse” the release of Anna Kendrick’s latest film, “The Last Five Years” (It was a pun. Anna Kendrick was in “Twilight.” Get it? Moving on…)

“The Last Five Years” is an off-Broadway musical that made it to the big screen with Tony Award Nominees Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan (from “Smash” on NBC). This show tells the story of Cathy (Kendrick) and Jamie’s (Jordan) relationship through the last five years from their first date to the wedding and ultimate divorce. Whoa! Way to spoil the ending! I assure you, I didn’t.

This movie opens on Cathy reading a letter from Jamie saying he’s left her. The story then digresses through the relationship to when they first met through Cathy’s perspective. At the same time, it progresses from the beginning to the end of their relationship in Jamie’s perspective. Confused? It sounds more confusing than it actually is, I assure you.

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What Are You Watching?: Eye Candy

Eye Candy
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Eye Candy” (2015 MTV)

In this modern world, dominated by iPhones and Kardashians, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Eye Candy, MTV’s first crime drama series based on the R.L. Stein novel of the same name, explores this idea. The show follows a young New Yorker, Lindy, as she is being stalked by a cyberstalker turned serial killer.

I find this show to be interesting because it takes on the premise of what could happen in this world run with technology that is so easily hacked or compromised. Look at the iCloud leaked photo scandal from last year for an example that nothing is as safe as it seems. Lindy is a computer wiz whose sister was abducted three years ago. Ever since then, Lindy has been trying to find her sister and help find other missing people that the police have given up on.

Lindy falls victim to a cyberstalker using the MTV version of Tindr called “Flirtual” – probably because Tindr didn’t want their brand tied to something that shows innocent online daters slashed to pieces. The motive of the serial killer is to stop people from lying on their profiles and by “lying” they mean hiding their flaws, from acne covered by Instagram filters to crooked teeth hidden with a closed smile. This killer is looking for the “perfect one,” and that means Lindy.

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